One year after the start of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Surayya Anne Foundation looks back at the highs and lows of 2020.
Frontline workers provide COVID-19 testing. Photo via Unsplash.
The coronavirus pandemic was the defining event of 2020. While life seemed to shut down in March 2020, the demand for health and human service programs only increased. Thousands of Tulsans lost their jobs, sources of income, homes, and lives as the virus spread, businesses closed, and workers were laid off. The Surayya Anne Foundation stepped up to meet the growing need for housing, food, and financial support through our programs. According to the Tulsa SEED Survey:
60% of Tulsans lost income.
50% of Tulsans faced food insecurity.
BIPOC were disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
Our mission of empowering women, children and families through humanitarian programs became more important than ever during the coronavirus pandemic. Our on-site apartments have continuously been at full capacity. We provided housing to 27 individuals and families in 2020. Additionally, 3 students will be able to attend Tulsa Community College, Northeastern State University, and the University of Oklahoma, after being awarded scholarships from the Surayya Anne Foundation. Thanks to support from our team of volunteers, donors, staff, and the community, we were able to make an impact in the lives of 1,191 total Tulsans in need.
Teen volunteers hand out cookies and baked goods at the 2020 Fall Festival.
Due the coronavirus pandemic, we were unable to hold our annual gala and other major community events. Instead, we hosted an outdoor, socially distanced fall festival to raise funds and meet the community. An estimated 150 community members visited our fall festival. The festival was a huge success and we anticipate a gradual return to hosting safe events in 2021.
Social distancing did not mean social isolation for the Foundation in 2020. Collaborative partnerships with other local organizations helped us reach more people in need. As an A Way Home For Tulsa partner, we made homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring for 123 unhoused Tulsans. We also partnered with Khan Ohana, nursing homes, and prisons to bring food, financial help, and a sense of community to 394 people through our special programs.
Construction on the Surayya Anne Foundation's office is nearly complete.
In 2021, we look forward to continuing our existing programs and expanding into new ones.
Our new office space is scheduled to open in 2021. The office will include a lobby area, case management offices, counseling office, laundry services, and a medical clinic for our residents. Additionally, the space will free an apartment to house a new family.
Mental and physical wellness are key to a healthy life and vital to our mission of fighting homelessness at its source. We will be introducing a new community-based wellness program to meet our clients' health needs. This includes a free or low-cost medical and dental clinic, partnerships with local healthcare providers, and mental health workshops for our clients.
Noting the connection between access to education and a higher quality of life, our scholarship committee is working hard to provide more scholarships to academically excellent students in the Tulsa area.
We are grateful for our donors, volunteers, staff, and community for all their help in serving people in need in Tulsa. Thank you.
View the full version of our 2020 annual report here: